McGREGOR RANGE, N.M. -- Making sure major routes in Afghanistan are clear of roadside bombs is crucial to keeping International Security Assistance Force and coalition forces safe and fully mission-capable.

This mission requires intense training on several different high-tech pieces of equipment designed to detect improvised explosive devices and protect the Soldiers.

The 3-410th Engineer Battalion, 402nd Field Artillery Brigade, Division West, trained Soldiers of the Army Reserve's 321st Engineer Company from Conroe, Texas, on route clearance vehicles they will be using on their mission in Afghanistan.

The unit trained on route clearance vehicles such as the Husky mine detection vehicle, the Buffalo mine-resistant ambush-protected clearance vehicle, and the Goldie hand-held mine detector.

While Soldiers must learn to be comfortable and proficient on their equipment, the 3-410th observer/controller trainers would prefer them to not be totally reliant on it.

"We want them to use their most valuable resource -- their vision and attention to detail. Attention to detail can mean the difference between life and death," said Staff Sgt. Richard White, a 3-410th OC/T. "Many of the IEDs will be hidden, so we teach the Soldiers to pay attention to the terrain and what is around them."

The 3-410th team trained the deploying unit on every possible scenario to help prepare them for real situations during their deployment.

"The unit had some growing pains at first during their training," White said. "But they committed themselves and did an outstanding job learning and growing throughout the training."

Page last updated Wed March 20th, 2013 at 00:00